It’s a Main Dish or a Side Salad — Garden Pasta Salad

Mixing veggies in with the pasta base.

     Garden Pasta Salad makes a quick and easy main dish or side salad. I cooked the pasta several hours ahead and refrigerated it with the sauce and parsley, allowing the flavors to meld. Right before dinner I added garden veggies along with eggs, cheese and some meat for a simple, tasty and hearty meal.
     This recipe is quite versatile and lends itself to lots of variations. No Comeback Sauce? Use Ranch dressing mixed with some salsa. Vary the type of pasta, add other garden herbs, shredded carrots, thinly sliced radishes, diced peppers  . . . or whatever sounds good.

Garden Pasta Salad
1 (12 ounce) package spiral whole wheat pasta or use tri-colored
1/3 to ½ cup (more or less) Comeback Sauce  
2 to 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
3 Roma (plum tomatoes), diced
About 1/3 to ½ cup black olives pieces or slices
3 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
About ¼ cup finely chopped cucumber, peeled & seeded
Salt & pepper to taste
2 hard cooked eggs, chopped  
¼ to ½ cup cubed Cheddar cheese (we prefer sharp)
Ready to eat. 
About ½ cup diced ham, or add fried bacon, turkey, etc.
1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spiral pasta in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but firm to the bite, 12 minutes; drain.
2.  Toss cooked pasta with Comeback Sauce (vary amount to your taste and preference) in a large bowl; add parsley.
3.  Chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
4.  Add any or all of the additional ingredients before serving. Note – add just veggies for a side salad; if using as a main dish salad add the eggs, cheese and meat.

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